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Chiropractic Care

Getting to the Core of the Problem

Until now, you may have thought that all chiropractors “do the same thing” and “adjust the same way.” This isn’t so!
Our chiropractic providers are expertly trained in the Gonstead Technique.
The Gonstead Technique
It involves an in-depth analysis of the spine and nervous system with the use of modern neural thermogenic scanners, and X-Rays when appropriate. Neural thermogenic scanners allow our providers to precisely locate areas of spinal nerve root interference. This information, combined with the help of X-Rays and orthopedic tests, allow our providers to determine the most gentle yet effective care plan and treatment protocol for each individual.
The Gonstead Technique harmoniously blends both the neurological as well as biomechanical aspects of the human frame. It is one of the few chiropractic techniques available to Chiropractors that take both aspects into account, and for this reason, requires extensive clinical training outside of the classroom.


Your nervous system contains very delicate material and controls every function in your body. It is the only organ in your entire body that needs a “house” or spinal column to protect it. This is why we adjust the spinal column in order to have an impact on the nervous system. By performing gentle adjustments on your spine, we release nerve root impingements and this allows your nervous system, and therefore body, to operate optimally.
The deliberate specificity of the Gonstead technique means that you will see positive, long-lasting results with fewer visits to our office. It also means that adjustments are gentle enough for even our youngest practice members.

Gonstead Tools For Care

Every patient deserves to have a detailed analysis of their condition to ensure the highest level of care. This encourages specificity and patient confidence in their provider's level of care.
We use Visualization, Instrumentation, Palpation, X-Ray, and patient symptoms to determine the exact spots that require adjustment. When all of these correlate, we are more capable of providing patients a specific adjustment. The greater the specificity, the greater the change we will notice in the patient’s health. Dr. Gonstead noted that three adjustments on the wrong vertebral segment could cause a Subluxation; therefore it is extremely important to be as specific as possible.


In the Gonstead System are Full Spine, both A-P and Lateral views. The film size is 14” x 36” with the patient placed to include ishia to occiput. Full Spine films use less radiation than sectionals, provide an accurate vertebral count, provide full spinal contour representation for posture analysis with axial weight-bearing, and show problems other than the chief complaint—all of which are not attainable through the use of sectional films. Full spine X-Rays are essential to Gonstead Chiropractic. They allow us to regard the patient totally in analysis and corrective procedures.


Both Static and Motion Palpation are utilized in Gonstead Chiropractic to precisely pinpoint areas of involvement. Static Palpation is the “hands on” part of the examination. This will indicate changes in contour, tone, texture, and temperature on the patient. Motion Palpation is used to determine a subluxation and its listing


Classically a dual probe instrument (Nervoscope or Delta-T) is used to get a bilateral temperature comparison of the spine to locate areas of inflammation. The readings obtained through instrumentation will show whether or not subluxations are present if they are being corrected, and when a correction has been attained.


We take into account all the information we can get from the patient by simply looking at them very carefully. In the Gonstead System Visualization starts from the moment the patient walks in the door. Differences in height between the ears, shoulders, and hips as well as posture and gait are useful to confirm your X-Ray and Palpation findings.

CASE MANAGEMENT (Symptomatology)

Although never used in a “textbook” fashion, understanding problems with a patient’s health helps us determine the area that a patient needs to be adjusted. Symptoms can help separate the two parts of the Autonomic Nervous System (Sympathetic and Parasympathetic) and aid us in applying a specific adjustment. In the Gonstead System, we apply all the information from these modes of analysis and correlate our findings to determine the most likely cause of the patient’s problem. After subluxations are found, the use of the proper Gonstead technique is applied to effectively correct problem areas. The Gonstead System focuses on the dynamics of intervertebral discs as the underlying cause of subluxations, resulting in neurological dysfunction. It could then be said that Gonstead doctors are “disc doctors”.


Dr. Gonstead postulated that when the Parallel Disc relationship is compromised by vertebral misalignment, the pivot point of the nucleus pulposus is compressed and puts pressure against the surrounding annular fibers damaging them.
This tissue damage creates an inflammatory response causing the disc to expand, and it is this expansion that puts pressure on the nerves in a given intervertebral forearm resulting in neurological dysfunction.
The Gonstead system says it is important to understand the stages of degeneration so as to visualize what adjusting direction and force must be applied for correction.


In the spine, intervertebral discs act as both a protective cushion, allowing for flexibility, as well as a supportive coupling between vertebral bodies to ensure a normal and healthy range of motion.
The Nucleus Pulposus is the dense central mass that holds fluids and nutrients, and functions as a pivot point or “ball bearing” during the movement of a vertebral couple. The Annulus Fibrosis is the outlying layers of fibrocartilage and collagenous fibers, much like the “rings” observed in a cross-section of a tree trunk. The Annulus is anchored to the cartilaginous endplates of adjacent vertebral bodies.
Dr. Gonstead’s Level Disc Theory states that “anatomically and physiologically normal discs will allow the vertebral bodies to assume their optimum relationships”. This is observed when the vertical height of a vertebral couple is uniform 360º around with the vertebral bodies in line. This relationship is known as “Parallel Discs” and allows for equal weight-bearing, adequate nutrient supply, and optimal joint function and movement in the spine.


Dr. Clarence Gonstead redefined the nature of his profession and built a chiropractic destination in small-town Wisconsin. He continues to be one of the most influential figures in the history of Chiropractic, and the Gonstead System lives as a shining example of the best that Chiropractic has to offer.
Gonstead grew up learning how to repair tractors and automobiles, an interest that foreshadowed his later accomplishments in applying mechanical principles to the correction of the human spine.
Gonstead was born on July 23, 1898 in Willow Lake, South Dakota. In his early years, the family relocated to a dairy farm in Primrose, Wisconsin. At the age of 19, Gonstead contracted a crippling case of rheumatoid arthritis that left him bedridden for weeks. His aunt sought the help of her chiropractor, Dr. J.B. Olson, and after a course of adjustments he could walk again.
This was a life-changing experience for Clarence; he enrolled in Palmer College of Chiropractic and graduated in 1923. During that time he worked as an automotive engineer. It cannot be understated how significant this mechanical experience was in influencing Gonstead to rethink prevailing ideas about the mechanism of subluxation. At the time B.J. Palmer’s theory that the displacement of a vertebrae caused encroachment of the neural foramina was the predominant paradigm in the chiropractic profession. Dr. Gonstead challenged this notion through the application of biomechanical principles and clinical observation in practice. He introduced the Level Disc Theory that theorized subluxation began at the disc. The inflammatory response from damaged tissue created “nerve pressure”, resulting in the neurological complications associated with subluxation.
The assertion that the genesis of subluxation arose from disc involvement was indeed revolutionary. Dr. Gonstead created an entirely new method of correcting vertebral subluxation centered around this principle, the goal of which was centering the vertebrae on the disc to restore an optimal relationship. In this new system, Dr. Gonstead pioneered several inventions to maximize the efficiency of detecting and correcting subluxations. His development of the Nervoscope enabled practitioners to objectively pinpoint the neurological components of a subluxation by measuring bilateral temperature differences in the spine, effectively ‘troubleshooting’ the nerves at each chord level. Also, Dr. Gonstead designed the cervical chair and knee-chest table enabled chiropractors to gain the necessary ‘lift’ in line of correction to center vertebra back on the disc, using gravity and spinal mechanics to one’s advantage in applying corrective adjustments.
Dr. Gonstead became internationally renowned through determination and constant refinement of his craft. He built his clinic in Mt. Horeb, Wisconsin, which at its zenith boasted an airstrip and hotel for patients who literally traveled the world to receive his care. It is said that Dr. Gonstead never went to bed on the same day that he woke up, adjusting patients all day long and often working late into the next morning. And it is a little known fact that during the polio epidemic that swept the United States in the first half of the 20th century, Dr. Gonstead did not lose a single patient to the disease.
Dr. Gonstead was a revolutionary in the way he changed our understanding of the mechanisms of subluxation. But also he understood that subluxation was a complex issue rather than a single entity, therefore expanding a chiropractic system that analyzed a patient’s problem through multiple diagnostic criteria and correlation of findings resulting in the most accurate possible diagnosis of a patient’s specific problem.
“Remember Chiropractic always works. You may question your application, but never question the principle,” - Dr. Gonstead
Through his legacy, the Gonstead System remains the standard of excellence in the chiropractic profession and for all those who seek out Chiropractic.
Experience the Gonstead System for yourself by visiting Modern Movement Medicine!

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Modern Movement Medicine is dedicated to helping you get relief from your pain. Our interdisciplinary healthcare team offers drug-free, surgery-free treatments that provide long-term results for Chiropractic Care.
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